Pleased To Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are by Bill Sullivan

Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and t… Pleased To Meet Me. Finished 8-7-19, 4.5/5 stars, 335 pages, pub. 2019

I want to thank TLC Book Tours for asking me to participate and apologize for not getting this up last week when I should have.

Why are you attracted to a certain “type?” Why are you a morning person? Why do you vote the way you do? From a witty new voice in popular science comes a life-changing look at what makes you.

“I can’t believe I just said that.” “What possessed me to do that?” “What’s wrong with me?” We’re constantly seeking answers to these fundamental human questions, and now, science has the answers. Clever, relatable, and revealing, this eye-opening narrative from Indiana University School of Medicine professor Bill Sullivan explores why we do the things we do through the lens of genetics, microbiology, psychology, neurology, and family history. From what we love (and hate) to eat and who we vote for in political elections to when we lose our virginity and why some people find drugs so addicting, this illuminating book uses the latest scientific research to unveil the secrets of what makes us tick. Filled with fascinating insights–including how experiences that haunted our grandparents echo in our DNA, why the bacteria in our guts mess with our minds, and whether there really is a “murder gene”–this revolutionary book explains the hidden forces shaping who we are, pointing us on a path to how we might become our best selves.   from Goodreads

There is so much to unpack in this book.  First, I need to mention that it’s written with a lot of humor to make it more readable, especially the first half or so.  Second, any book that tells of the Kenny Rogers Seinfeld episode has already won me over.  Just so you know there is a scientific reason why I agree with Newman that broccoli is a vile weed.  Third, there’s a lot of information in here that I think women should be aware of BEFORE they get pregnant.  For reals, I felt that I failed Gage in so many ways just by what I ate or didn’t eat in pregnancy.  And lastly, this book attempts to make scientific studies fun and does a really good job.

I love when mainstream books make the gut-brain connection and that showed up here.  Your gut is your brain people.  This is an issue that I’ve studied quite a lot for Gage.  Many kids on the spectrum have compromised guts and healing them can go a long way in their future diagnosis.  And autism isn’t the only brain condition that this applies to, so I was glad to see it featured.  Grumpy old men is a real thing – who knew?  There was an interesting idea on the Chicago violence (hint-lead).  In the last bit of the book he talked about politically leanings and I was intrigued.  Just by looking at someone’s brain scan they can predict with 72% accuracy their political leanings.  (hint-conservatives scare more easily than liberals)  But both sides, once entrenched find it almost impossible to change because of the way our brains work.  Interesting stuff that explains a lot of what’s happening today.

This is a fun book with something for everyone.

5 thoughts on “Pleased To Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are by Bill Sullivan

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    That sounds fascinating! People don’t realize how much the food they eat affects their brains and their bodies! I’ve read about lead and it’s effects in other places – the projects were (and probably still are) full of lead paint.

  2. Sara Strand says:

    Ooh… I’m excited to read this one! I am that person who hates all vegetables. How I’ve made it to age 37, I’ll never know. Ha! Thank you for being on this tour- Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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